Federal cuts affect Baltimore teen pregnancy prevention programs (WBAL-TV)

The White House is cutting millions in federal funding to teen pregnancy prevention programs, which has left some in Baltimore feeling blindsided.

Baltimore City health leaders are scrambling to regroup this week after sudden word from the federal government that funding has been cut to two major teen pregnancy prevention programs.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is pulling the plug on more than $200 million in Obama-era grants to 81 teen pregnancy prevention programs and research projects across the country. It adds up to a $2 million budget gap for Baltimore's Healthy Teen Network.

"The whole field, I think, was blindsided," said Pat Paluzzi, with the Healthy Teen Network. "To all of a sudden get the letter saying your grant either ended June 30 of this year or was ending June 30 of next year, two years ahead of schedule, was a hard pill to swallow."

The Baltimore City Health Department is losing $3.5 million, which is the last two years of its grant to provide health education to middle and high school students.

"(It) means about 20,000 of our students are not going to be able to get these comprehensive reproductive health education services anymore," Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said.

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